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"The Lucy Show" - Main Street U.S.A.

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"The Lucy Show" - Main Street U.S.A.

Published 1967

1967 episode of "The Lucy Show" called "Main Street U.S.A.". In this episode, Lucy Carmichael tries to save a historic town from being demolished.

[29 Episodes of "The Lucy Show" have entered the Public Domain, For reasons which have never been explained]
Info from Wikipedia:

The Lucy Show was Lucille Ball's follow up show to I Love Lucy. It began in 1962 and ran until 1968. The premise and the cast changed frequently, with only Gale Gordon lasting most of the run of the show (he joined the cast during the second season). Originally, Vivian Vance was the costar. From time to time, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. appeared. The earliest scripts were entitled The Lucille Ball Show, but all episodes aired with the title The Lucy Show.

The show began with Lucille Ball as Lucy Carmichael, a widow with two children, Chris (Candy Moore), and Jerry (Jimmy Garrett), living in Danfield, New York (a number of sources have, through the years, incorrectly stated the setting as Danfield, Connecticut), sharing her home with divorced friend Vivian Bagley (Vance) and her son, Sherman (Ralph Hart). Lucy had been left with a substantial trust fund by her late husband, which was managed during the first season by local banker Mr. Barnsdahl (Charles Lane). At the beginning of the 1963-64 season, the character was replaced by Theodore J. Mooney (Gordon, who would remain with the series for the remainder of its run, despite numerous format changes). Gordon was to have joined the series at its premiere in 1962, but he was still contractually obligated to his role as Mr. Wilson on Dennis the Menace. Mrs. Carmichael spent so much of her time and effort trying to get Mr. Mooney to allow her to invade the principal of the trust fund for various ideas and projects that it finally seemed more reasonable for her just to spend her time working for Mooney directly as his secretary, which she eventually did. Beginning in the 1965 season, Vance left the series. (It was explained that her character had gotten married.) Lucy and Jerry Carmichael and Mr. Mooney moved to California, where both Lucy and Mooney remained in the banking business together (now at a different bank), and Vivian Bagley visited once or twice per season. Lucy's daughter Chris went away to college and was mentioned only once or twice.

Shortly afterward, Jerry was shipped off to a military academy, and his character was very rarely referred to in future episodes, although he did make a couple of appearances. Lucy gained a new best friend in Mary Jane Lewis (Mary Jane Croft), and at this point the premise changed primarily to one where famous guest stars made appearances.

During the 1967-68 season, Lucille Ball sold Desilu Productions (which owned and produced The Lucy Show) to Gulf and Western Industries, which meant that she no longer owned the series. Rather than continue to star in a show she no longer owned, Ball opted to create a new series, Here's Lucy, which employed herself, Gordon and Croft (and Vance in occasional guest appearances), playing "new" characters (though they were all similar to their characters on former series). Here's Lucy ran on CBS for an additional six seasons.

Though CBS would broadcast The Lucy Show in black and white until the beginning of the 1965-66 season, episodes were actually filmed in color starting with the 1963-64 season, as Ball realized that the episodes would eventually be widely shown in syndication, and that color episodes would command more money when sold to syndication.

The credits list the show's basis as the novel Life Without George, by Irene Kampen. This non-fiction book was a collection of humorous pieces about two divorced women and their children living together. A next door airline pilot neighbor, Harry Connors, became a character in the series played by Dick Martin. The character of Chris, Lucy's daughter in the series, had the same name in the book. In a later volume of essays, Nobody Calls At This Hour Just To Say Hello, Kampen wrote a piece entitled "How Not to Meet Lucille Ball," which detailed her efforts to meet Lucy when she visited Los Angeles (she never got to meet her).

Throughout the series, four openings were used.

During the first season (1962-63), animated stick figures of Ball and Vance were used (similar to the ones used in the original opening sequences of I Love Lucy and of the subsequent 13 hour-long specials later syndicated in reruns as The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour).
During seasons two and three, footage and stills from previous episodes were used.
During the final three seasons, a "kaleidoscope" opening was used, in which footage was used of Ball, in a kaleidoscope-like pattern. This is perhaps the best known opening to younger viewers (e.g. those too young to have watched the show when it originally aired on CBS), as the package that was sold into syndication (and later was shown on Nick at Nite) used this opening for nearly all the episodes.
An additional opening was created at the beginning of the 1966 season, that featured Lucille Ball as an animated "jack-in-the-box". Ball reportedly hated it, and it was only used in a handful of episodes at the start of the season, before being replaced.
The music was composed by Wilbur Hatch, who was also responsible for the I Love Lucy theme music.

Nielsen Ratings
1962-63: #5
1963-64: #6
1964-65: #8
1965-66: #3
1966-67: #4
1967-68: #2
Much like I Love Lucy, "The Lucy Show" never dropped out of the top 10 for its entire run. This proved that the world still loved Lucy.

Fans of the series generally rate the first three season featuring Vivian Vance as the best of all six years, and the California-based fourth through sixth seasons as substandard, but ironically the fifth and sixth seasons drew the highest ratings (as well as Emmy awards for the star).

There is speculation among fans that an official DVD release may come since Paramount is finished releasing all I Love Lucy product including the hour-long episodes. As of now, there are about thirty public domain releases with episodes mainly from the California era of the show. It does seem likely as Paramount has the rights to the show, there will be DVD releases in the near future.

While filming the 1963 episode, "Lucy and Viv Put In A Shower", in which Lucy and Vivian attempt to install a shower (but become trapped inside, unable to shut the water off) Ball nearly drowned while performing in the tank of water. Unable to bring herself back to the surface, it was Vance who realized there was a problem and pulled her co-star to safety; she went on to ad lib until Ball could catch her breath to resume speaking her lines (all the while, cameras continued to film). Neither the film crew nor the live studio audience realized there was a problem.
Though a number of TV historians have through the years cited One Day at a Time’s Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) as television's first regular running character who was a divorcée, that accomplishment actually belongs to The Lucy Show’s Vivian Bagley.
Ironically, it was decided early on that the Lucy Carmichael character should be a widow, not a divorcée, since viewers might incorrectly assume that Ball's previous character, Lucy Ricardo, had divorced Ricky, even though Ball and Arnaz were, in fact, divorced in real life.
Lucille Ball won two Emmy Awards as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, for the years 1966-67 and 1967-68 respectively.

Run time Approx 25 Minutes
Audio/Visual sound, color


Lucille Ball ... Lucy Carmichael
Gale Gordon ... Mr. Theodore J. Mooney
Mel Tormé ... Mel Tinker
John Bubbles ... Himself


Reviewer: katpooh9 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 2, 2009
Subject: Actually watch it
I suspect that Spuzz watched only the beginning part with the parade going through and then he quit watching and made an erroneous assessment of the plot. I love this episode.
Reviewer: Retro_Saiyan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 10, 2008
Subject: Did Spuzz even watch it?
Wow, His review is two lines long and he gets the plot wrong. Wow.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavorite - February 29, 2008
Subject: Meh
While it's great to see a Lucille Ball show on here, this is definitely not one of the best. Lucy and her boss go to a small town to make plans for a highway to go through it. Mel Torme and company have other plans though. Meh.
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